Death and Dying, Guns and Roses
By John Pirillo
It's funny how I remember some of my earlier years. My girl friends all talk about their proms, their hair dos, their new cell phones, even sometimes about their Instagram pages and Twits, but rarely do they ever talk about the things that really impact us to the very cellular level of our souls. Death.
It's a rose with thorn that no one wants to prick their finger on.
I was forced to face it early on. My parents were driving to Oklahoma in our old car, which was steaming a bit from the long drive we had put in already and we had to slow down because there was an accident ahead of us. It took us about an hour to get past, but I will always remember my father stopping the car and pulling to the side to help.
A car had flipped over and the driver was pinned beneath a wheel. Their head was under it. How they could have remained alive under those conditions I'll never know. I would hate to imagine the pain and terror they must have been experiencing. To be trapped like that and so helpless.
Hundreds of people had driven past. The Highway Patrol was nowhere in sight yet, maybe stuck at another accident. I didn't know then. I don't know now.
Father told me to stay inside. So I did.
Mother gave me reassurances, but I could tell something was not right about the driver under the wheel. Their colors were all wrong. They used to be bright and sparkly pink, but now they were tinged with blackness throughout, and the darkness was spreading.
"She's going to die, Mama." I told her.
She shook her head.
"No one really dies, honey."
"I know, that's what the Preacher says. But I overhear him sometimes talking to himself about how he's getting old and he doesn't want to die. Why does he say that when he knows God will protect him and guide him?"
She gave me that motherly look and pressed her hands to both my cheeks. "Honey, just because you serve God, and love God, doesn't always mean you understand God and all that He does."
"But why wouldn't he help a man of God?" I insisted, frustrated with her answer.
"Maybe he is. If he didn't think about it, how could he prepare for that moment we all must face? Young or old?"
I paused in my thoughts a long time, pondering that. This is quite remarkable for the seven year old child I was at the time. I don't think even teenagers would give it that much thought. As a matter of fact I know they don't, because in my 8th grade class, Mr. Bronze asked all the students what they would want to be remembered for when they died.
Nine out of ten of them laughed.
The ones who answered said things like my car, my pet, and my hair do. This had brought a lot of laughter from the class, but frustrated Mr. Bronze, because it wasn't what he had hoped to provoke with his question.
The fool that I was, I stood up and raised my hand.
Surprised, he turned to look at me, just as all the other students had.
"Mister Bronze, I don't believe in death. Mommy tells me it's just a transition and I believe her."
He gave me a thoughtful look.
"Just why it is that she believes that, Lovelight?"
Lovelight's my nickname, but Cynthia's my real name. I've gotten so used to people calling me Lovelight now, that I don't even use Cynthia anymore. I suppose I will when I get married. (If I ever get married. I don't think that far ahead.)
I tried to remember Mom's words exactly, which was hard with Jacob up front making faces at me behind Mister Bronze's back.
"Stop that Jacob! Or I'll paint a second nose on your forehead." Mister Bronze warned. him.
The class burst into laughter and Jacob slumped down in his chair, trying to become invisible, which was probably not a bad idea for him as he was way too much visible most of the time. My Mom called it needs for negative attention and he sure fit that bill like a square peg does a square hole.
I waited until the class stopped laughing, and then answered. "Because we are all a part of God."
"That's true." He said.
"And no part of God can ever really die."
"That's also true."
One of the girls, Nancy Riger stood up, her face all red with anger. "That's wicked, Mister Bronze. My preacher would spank you if he heard that!"
Mister Bronze did a very unique thing. He didn't scald her; instead her looked at her and gave her a very sad look. "I bet you didn't know I went to seminary school to become a preacher."
She blanched, fearing what his next words might be.
"Uh...yes. I mean no I didn't."
"There wasn't a student there beside me that didn't believe that there had to be something more than just heaven and hell to our deaths."
After that he shut up and brought up the science book we had been studying. "Class, turn to page sixty four, the human DNA. Who can tell me how our DNA affects our longevity?"
My thoughts slipped back to the car accident again.
I don't know why, but for some reason, I was compelled to exit our family car and run to my Father's side. He was trying to lift the car off the head of the dying woman.
Yes. I didn't know she was dying outwardly, but I could see it in her colors. They were turned all dark, and fading.
"Father!" I told him.
He looked at me. I shook my head.
He looked at the woman, and knew what I was seeing.
He gently let go and backed off. I dropped to a knee and put my hands over her chest, just above her heart. Her eyes fluttered open and I could tell she was already dreaming of her passage to the next world of peace beyond our troubled world.
"Who are you?" She asked weakly.
I smiled at her. "A friend."
She smiled faintly. "I've never had a friend."
I could have wept. My entire being was wracked with sadness and tears at that moment. I held back my tears and gave her the best and brightest smile I had. "You have the best friend of all and He's waiting for you."
After I said that I felt this gentle breeze behind me. I turned to look and a tunnel of whirling white energies was opening up and the woman beneath the wheel was no longer beneath the car, but at the entrance to the light. It opened up wider and she stepped into a wide, glowing tunnel at the end of which was a man most talk about, but few truly believe in. He came forward to take her hands and guide her.
She hesitated a moment, and turned her head to look back at me.
I brushed the tears from my face and nodded.
She nodded back, and then gave me the most beautiful smile I've ever seen in my life.
The man looked at me as well and I will never forget his face. It was the face I saw in the movies every Easter. He smiled and the love he poured into that smile melted my heart.
"Lovelight!" My Father said. "Let her go!"
I was jerked from my vision back to the accident scene.
The woman no longer breathed beneath my palms. I removed them, and then slowly stood up. My Father pulled me away and crushed me against him. "It's all right, she's with God now."
"I know." I replied without speaking.
He didn't hear me, but when I looked to our car, Mom nodded her head and wiped at the tears in her eyes. I know from that day to this that she saw everything I did, even though she never spoke a word about it.
So you see, I may be growing older, but I don't fear death and dying, or guns and roses. Because we are not made of earth, but of light and hope, stars and dreams and one day we will all step back into the Light that our best friend has made to receive us once more into his home.